Social media is a powerful channel to connect with hotel guests and new audiences to increase awareness of a property and to boost direct bookings.
This article will provide an overview of social media marketing for hotels, including how to get started, different strategies to use, and how to approach each specific platform.
Before we dive in, be sure to visit our ultimate guide to hotel marketing to access an all-encompassing rundown of hotel marketing trends, data points, and insights.
What is hotel social media marketing?
Social media is an online form of communication that allows users to have conversations with their followers and post web content. It is a collective term widely used for internet platforms that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content sharing, and collaboration.
Hotel social media marketing is the process of creating visibility and engagement for a hotel through social media channels. This may include everything from sharing photographs or videos of the hotel to responding to hotel guest reviews or comments on these platforms.
Today, social media has gained enormous traction globally, with mobile applications making these platforms easily accessible. Popular examples of social media channels used by the hospitality industry are Facebook and Instagram (Phocuswire).
Why is social media marketing important to hoteliers?
In 2023, over 4.9 billion people are using social media worldwide, a number projected to grow to almost 6 billion by 2027. Having a presence on social media is critical for hotels to reach and engage with new audiences and be top of mind with people as they shop for accommodations.
Most guests will visit a hotel’s Facebook or Instagram page prior to deciding on whether to book a hotel room. It is therefore crucial that a hotel not only has a presence and informs guests on these platforms, but also that the hotel is publishing content that entices people to visit and creates a sense of desirability.
Additionally, social media allows clients to share and post reviews, which in turn provides the type of interactions that can inspire guest confidence, boost social media marketing performance, and support an online review management strategy. Because these are perceived as real-life experiences, these reviews often prove to be more effective than promotional content, paid advertising, and traditional sales messaging.
Finally, when users like and share a hotel’s page, not only does it show how appreciated and liked that hotel is, but it also allows the hotel to collect information resulting in hotel media advertising opportunities based on likes and dislikes, demographics, and many other factors.
Tips to promote a hotel using social media marketing
The following tips can help promote a property through hospitality social media marketing:
- Think of Instagrammability; for today’s traveler, a perfect photo opportunity is critical when it comes to booking their next trip. Hotels need to take advantage of their unique selling points and publicly advertise them online. For some hotels, this may include images and videos of landmark views, infinity pools or sunset dinners.
- Make sure you leverage partnerships with influencers: people with large audiences who post on social media about a hotel and are compensated for their efforts. With the rapid growth of influencer marketing, particularly in the visually appealing travel sector, a property will want to find the right person who can positively represent the brand and drive loyalty.
- Establish a community of brand advocates by monitoring social media mentions. See who is interested in the brand, communicates in a similar voice, or complements the brand’s values. Learn how to partner with brand advocates and the most loyal customers here.
- Take note of feedback gathered from social networks and make relevant improvements to guest experience. Establish a specific timeline to reply to all feedback, whether positive or negative, to demonstrate attention to guest opinions.
When should hotels use social media marketing?
Pre-trip: Publish inspirational content on social media to connect with travelers thinking about their next adventure. Build content around the emotions they’ll feel at the property, show nearby attractions, and portray the lifestyle that guests will enjoy onsite. Be sure to use short, engaging videos or vibrant images, then optimize the posts to build trust with the brand.
On-trip: When guests arrive at the hotel, it’s likely they’ll share every element of their experience on social media – from the lobby to the room, pool, restaurants, and so on. It is therefore critical that staff works to deliver an outstanding experience which will result in positive word-of-mouth and viral moments.
Post-trip: Send an automated email to guests once they’ve checked out, asking them to join a loyalty program or interact on social media. You can also ask them to like and follow the property Facebook page (or other relevant profiles) to stay on top of upcoming promotions or discounts, so they are enticed to return.
How can hotels get started with social media marketing?
Hotel social media marketing has drastically changed over the past decade, and it should be an integral part of any marketing strategy.
The Amadeus Media Solutions team works with thousands of clients all over the world to deliver omni-channel marketing campaigns with great success. Whether it’s through metasearch, display ads, SEO or retargeting, we’ve helped our customers reach new audiences and achieve more bookings with a clear return on investment.
To get started, please contact us and we can guide you on how to successfully kick start your hotel’s social media marketing!